REACH - Recognize Everyone And Communicate Hope
The vision of Living Water Community Church is to ...
Recognize Everyone And Communicate Hope or REACH

Some of the Many Ways Living Water Carries out the REACH Vision

REACHing in Haiti

  • We began doing annual training trips in Haiti in 2016.

  • In February 2016 a team of Elders from Living Water traveled to Haiti to help one of our missionaries provide Bible training to local pastors. The week was spent teaching the basic doctrines of Christianity. In total, 55 local pastors received training certificates for the course. 

  • Our second mission to Haiti took place in March 2017. Our team taught a survey course covering the sections of Poetry and Prophecy books in the Old Testament. The pastors who complete the entire 4-year course will be certified to teach other pastors in Haiti, multiplying the number of trained leaders. 

  • The Living Water teaching will continue with one or two trips to Haiti each year.

  • Currently, we are training 50 pastors, each of whom serves an average of 200 people in each church, influencing a total of 10,000 people with solid biblical teaching. 

REACHing Youth Ministries

  • Youth are encouraged to grow in their leadership abilities and Living Water sends a team of youth almost every summer on a World Changers mission trip. Living Water Community Church has sent a total of 75 youth and leaders in the last five years. The cities where they have served include Muncie, IN, Charleston, WV, Chattanooga, TN, East St. Louis, IL, Pittsburg, PA, Chicago, IL and Cleveland, OH.

  • The teams of youth and their adult sponsors went on “prayer walks” during their World Changes lunch breaks and last summer they prayed with over 100 people and explained the reason they were helping change the world by serving others.

  • Our youth and adult sponsors raise their own support and are only partially funded from our church’s missions budget. The funds the kids raise not only pay for the trip and lodging (sleeping on a gym floor or in school classrooms) but also covers the cost of materials used to fix up lower-income neighborhood houses.

International Missions

  • Living Water REACHes to the “uttermost parts of the earth” by partially supporting four missionaries in four different “corners” of the world.

  • One of our missionaries successfully carries the gospel into hard to reach areas of the world through strategic partnerships with the GAP Ministry (Global Access Partnerships).

  • Our Senior Pastor, Clark Cothern, taught a seminary course on ministry leadership at the Baptist Seminary in Gweru, Zimbabwe, Africa.

  • A team from our Christian Challenge college students served in a summer missions project in central Asia, reaching a people group not normally exposed to the gospel.

  • In 2005, we sent a team of volunteers to Mexico where they handed out food vouchers to people in a struggling area, distributed food boxes, constructed a water purification system for a village and ministered to children in a VBS-style ministry. One of our congregation members was moved by the team’s efforts and she gave her life to Jesus and was baptized in the Pacific Ocean during that mission trip where she was volunteering her talents as a nurse.

  • In 2006, our Associate Pastor Mike Burrell, helped train AWANA leaders in India. He went expecting to train a handful of pastors and leaders. By the time he and a team member arrived the numbers had grown exponentially. He helped train 45 leaders, preached to over 5,000 people and saw over 500 make decisions to follow Jesus Christ. 300 churches began AWANA clubs which teach children Scripture memory verses through activities that are age appropriate. Since that original visit, over 2,000 clubs have been started in and around Rajahmundry, India, reaching an estimated 600,000 children with the good news of Jesus.

  • In 2007, one of our Small Group ministry members, Mary Lange, participated in a mission trip to Zambia, Africa, teaching local villagers how to grow sustainable and reproducible crops for healthy food. Other team members shared the gospel.

  • In 2008, we reached to a subculture in our community by hosting a “Biker Sunday.” We served 200 that day and one individual gave her heart to Jesus after a message was given during that event.

  • In 2009, one of our students donated a month of her time assisting in a school for special needs children in Zambia, Africa.

  • In 2010, we raised money to buy cancer medications for the children’s oncology department at the only hospital in Zimbabwe. We partnered with a church in Harare that has taken on that department as a ministry. Previous to that church’s work in the hospital, children with cancer were being treated with aspirin strength pain relievers.

  • In 2011, we collected and gave over 300 pairs of shoes for “Soles 4 Souls”, a ministry that takes shoes to desperately needed people in other countries.

  • We participate in Operation Christmas Child each year, involving the congregation in collecting items to send to children around the world, reaching them with the gospel in partnership with Franklin Graham’s ministry, “Samaritan’s Purse.” In 2008, we didn’t set a goal and the congregation gave over 30 shoe boxes. In 2009, we set a goal of 50 and they gave over 60. In 2010, we set a goal of 75 shoeboxes and they gave 85. In 2011, our goal was 100 and 80 were given.

  • Our congregation contributed a significant monetary gift to help a pastor from Africa come to Michigan to have surgery. Two congregations and a local hospital all contributed resources to get Pastor Ifeanyi back on his feet and ministering in a strong ministry in Zambia.

  • One of our own Living Water members, Nick Gubbini, went full-time two years ago as a Student Minister, reaching onto the campuses of the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College. Nick also leads our student and young professionals Bible study class.

  • Living Water helps support Christian Challenge financially through its missions giving. Each year Christian Challenge helps train young Christian leaders to become better prepared for mission endeavors in other cultures.

Local Missions

  • We partner with the Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti, through various ministry opportunities throughout the year, including an “adopt-a-family” Christmas emphasis each December. Last year, we adopted four families. We also collect personal hygiene items monthly to donate to Hope. Pastor Mike Burrell serves at Hope as a prayer minister each week.

  • Backyard Bible Clubs in 2008: A local outreach to four different neighborhoods in our community, in cooperation with a mission team from Lamar, Missouri.

  • Vacation Bible School in 2009: We partnered with the Whittaker congregation to hold a Vacation Bible School.

  • Starting in 2010 Living Water has partnered with a like-minded church, the Evangelical Friends Church in Ypsilanti, to host a cooperative Vacation Bible School.

  • We take a benevolence offering once each month. That money is used to help people in our congregation (and a few people outside the congregation) with serious financial needs including utility bills, car repairs and the costs of medicine for some who haven’t been able to afford it.

  • AWANA. Our AWANA Club on Sunday mornings serves children in Kindergarten through grade 6. We have 30 children enrolled in the new program. In 2013 we added a Cubbies program for preschool-aged kids.

  • As a seasonal outreach, we offer a children’s musical every December. That event becomes one of our highest attended events of the year.

  • We jointly host a Winter Bible study each year with a partner church, bringing in seminary professors to teach a particular topic or book of the Bible.

  • We offer small group Bible studies in homes and three times we have offered The Truth Project, with a total of twelve home groups being involved in this Christian Worldview study.

 Women's Ministries

  • Women have several entry points into the congregation, including community Bible Studies, regular fellowship gatherings, seasonal events like a car rally or “walking rally” in downtown Ann Arbor, and seasonal retreats.

  • Women in our congregation provide meals to expecting mothers during the difficult months of their pregnancies and after delivery, and to people who are recovering from surgeries.

 REACH for LIFE Team (LIFE stands for Local, Inreach, Foreign, and Evangelism)

  • This ministry team looks for ways to involve our congregation in REACH events both locally and abroad.

  • A greeter ministry serves under the umbrella of the REACH for LIFE team. Our strong team of greeters has helped Living Water become known as a friendly, welcoming congregation.

  • Our REACH (Recognize Everyone And Communicate Hope) vision is caught from the moment someone steps onto the property where we meet. Newcomers get to feel cared for as the team immediately determines if someone is new. They are welcomed warmly (but not accosted) and are connected with others so that a newcomer meets several people by their first name.

  • The REACH for LIFE team will help organize projects like our summer REACH Week and ongoing partner projects with our foreign missionaries.